SARSEF Named as the New Host of the Arizona Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

Junior Science and Humanities Symposium is a national competition for high school students that awards $408,000 in undergraduate tuition scholarships annually to regional and national student finalists.

Press Release – PDF

Previously hosted by Arizona State University, SARSEF has been named as the new host of the Arizona Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

October 14, 2020

(Tucson, AZ) The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) Program is a competition promoting original research and experimentation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at the high school level and publicly recognizes students for outstanding achievement.

Each year, 4,500 students participate in 48 regional symposia to qualify for the national symposium. JSHS awards $408,000 in undergraduate tuition scholarships annually to regional and national student finalists.

JSHS is one of the nation’s longest-running STEM competitions. It is a collaborative effort between the research arm of the Department of Defense (DoD) and nationwide academic research institutions and is administered by the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA).

After being hosted by the AZ Board of Regents on behalf of Arizona State University for decades, Arizona’s regional JSHS competition will now be hosted by SARSEF.

Laura Hobson directed Arizona JSHS for the past 20 years.

“I have had the utmost honor to meet many of the best and brightest Arizona high schoolers who dedicated their lives to the advancement of STEM research and their teachers who dedicated themselves to ensuring their students’ success,” Hobson shared. “It is my pleasure that SARSEF will be continuing the legacy of Arizona JSHS and serving all Arizona students who seek to advance STEM research.”

SARSEF is a Tucson-based nonprofit that encourages students to think critically and solve problems through science and engineering. SARSEF runs science education programs and competitions throughout Southern Arizona as well as the rest of the state.

Margaret Wilch, Ph.D., SARSEF’s Director of Research, has been named as the new Director of Arizona’s regional JSHS competition.

The 2020 Arizona JSHS competition took place in February. Pictured here, semi-finalists prepare to compete in the final round.

“I am thrilled that SARSEF, with its dedicated staff and rich history of supporting students in authentic science and engineering experiences, will be the new home for Arizona JSHS.  SARSEF will continue to put students’ interests first and to provide opportunities for them to discover, grow and showcase their creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills,” Wilch explained.

The 2021 Arizona Regional JSHS will occur virtually March 19 – 20, 2021.

Students may attend Arizona’s regional JSHS as presenters or observers. The symposium is a two-day conference, with qualifying students presenting their research to a panel of judges and symposium attendees in a 12-minute presentation. Judges ask clarifying questions and score the students on presentation skills as well as the quality of their science and engineering research. The top students from the preliminary round then proceed to the final round of presentations.

Five students will be selected at Arizona JSHS to attend National JSHS, where Arizona’s first and second place winners will compete for top prizes, and the third through fifth place winners will present their research in a poster session.

For more information about how students can participate in the 2021 Arizona JSHS competition, contact SARSEF’s Director of Research, Margaret Wilch, Ph.D., at margaret@sarsef.org.

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